News Saturday, AUGUST 19th, 2000

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By Vladimir Tax

Witnesses to enjoy better protection

The Czech government is preparing changes in the law that would ensure better protection of witnesses during police investigation and court proceedings. If witnesses feel endangered because of giving testimony, they will be able to ask for permanent police protection. The police will also be able to move them to a different location, including other countries, and change their identity. Under the current legislation, it is only possible to cover a witness's identity in the protocols, but the minister of interior says this measure often fails.

More humanitarian aid for Bosnia

The Czech humanitarian organisation ADRA has send another two truckloads of humanitarian aid to Bosnia. The aid, worth almost 20 thousand USD, is heading for a refugee camp in Teshanj and includes food and construction materials. Nine young Czech volunteers who will arrive in the camp later, are going to build simple houses for the refugees.

The humanitarian organisation ADRA was established in 1992. It cooperates with the Czech government and has sent humanitarian aid worth hundreds of thousands of USD to countries afflicted by war or natural disasters, such as former Yugoslavia, Turkey, Daghestan and Hungary.

Crashed Czech-made jet was not military

Czech military authorities have denied information about a crash of a Czech military jet during the Eastbourne airshow in Britain on Friday. Reuters had reported that a Czech military jet L29 crashed into the sea off the southeast coast of England during the airshow on Friday. However, the chief commander of the Czech Airforce, Ladislav Klima, said that although the aircraft was Czech-made, it did not belong to the Czech military.

The L29 sub-sonic aircraft, NATO codename Maya, was the first Czechoslovak jet aeroplane and its production ended in early 1970's.

Jewellers ready to face false diamonds

The Czech Association of Jewellers has denied media reports about imports of false diamonds to the Czech Republic that are impossible to distinguish from true jewels. The Association said its members are equipped with devices capable of detecting false gems. Besides, they issue certificates for precious stones they sell. Some Czech newspapers reported that false diamonds are being sold in the Czech Republic but their value is ten times lower than that of true diamonds. The false diamonds are claimed to be moissanits, man-made stones used in electrotechnology which have virtually identical characteristics as diamond.

Weather forecast

And finally, the weather forecast. We are expecting another tropical hot day. The skies should remain clear and afternoon highs are expected to reach from 31 to 35 degrees Celsius. However, on Monday, the arrival of a cold front to Central Europe will bring cloudy weather with scattered showers and a chance of thunderstorms or hail in some places. The highest daytime temperatures should remain around 30 degrees Celsius on Monday, and to drop to around 25 on Tuesday.